Riverbend officials today announced a change in tobacco policy, expanding no smoking areas at this year's festival.
At a news conference this morning, Friends of the Festival Executive Director Chip Baker called the decision "a big step" and said Riverbend was ahead of similar open-air events.
Local police and festival staff would enforce the new policy, Baker said. If violators become "belligerent," they will be asked to leave or escorted out, not arrested, he said.
Abena Williams, a spokeswoman for the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Health Department, did not immediately know whether the ban extends to smokeless tobacco.
The "no smoking zones" include all VIP areas, box seating, star seating and handicapped areas in front of the Coca-Cola Stage, where the festival's headliners traditionally play.
Other smoke-free zones include all seating near the Tennessee Valley Amphitheater and the Unum Stage, along with the Children's Area near the Olgiati Bridge.
Attendees will be allowed to smoke in other areas of the festival, Baker said.
Riverbend begins June 10.
For complete details, see tomorrow's Chattanooga Times Free Press.